Man of the Match Q&A: Ronald Cerritos
The Earthquakes struggled in the first half on Saturday, what do you feel were some of the reasons for that?
I think that the team came out a little unsure of themselves and not ready to play like we should have been. We were supporting each other and we were very spread out. We needed to play closer together and make the field smaller and play more as a unit. Los Angeles also came out strong and put pressure on us, so it made it difficult.
Can you talk about the way that the Quakes were able to turn things around and get back in the game in the second half?
In the second half, we were able to combine better and I think the team closed down the space and supported each other. Alejandro [Moreno] and I had a better understanding of where we were up front and I think that helped us create more. The back four came forward a bit more and brought the unit together and I thought that they did a great job at that. We had to look for a goal and we got it, but unfortunately we didn't keep our guard up and we gave up a chance and lost the game.
You have mentioned that you have had personal success at The Home Depot Center. Is there something special about playing there for you?
Soccer is strange. You have to be ready in whatever stadium you play in to do your job and my job is to score goals. Luckily, I was able to score here last year with D.C. United and I was fortunate to be able to score again. I hope to have the same luck in every stadium I play in. The Home Depot Center is a great stadium and it is fun to play here. There is a lot of space and you have to take advantage of that and find those spaces and try and score goals.
Is it difficult to quickly have a player like Mark Chung jump into a game without having practiced with the team, and how do you feel you will be able to combine with him on the wings now?
Of course it is a little difficult, but I have seen him play in Colorado so I had a good idea about his style and what he likes to do. He is a very dangerous player and he has a lot of ability. He likes to cut the ball back and take his defender on, so he keeps the defender guessing all the time. On the goal, I thought that he was going to cut it back and when he did, I knew he was going to serve it to the near post, so I knew that I had to make the run there. I got into the space and he played a great ball to me and I was able to get there before Kevin Hartman could get the ball. You always have to be ready when Mark gets the ball on the wing because he sends in great crosses.
The Quakes have a difficult week with a two road games and a week-long trip. How are you approaching this week with tough games in Colorado and Kansas City?
We have to come out and take control of the game in Colorado right away. We can't wait for them to take the initiative. That is what we did in Los Angeles. We have to play the whole game like we played the second half against the Galaxy. They are a team from the same conference, so we want to keep them behind us and solidify our position in the West. Obviously, they are at home and will want to take advantage of that, but we have to be smart and correct the errors that we have been making and I believe that we will have a good game. A good game against Colorado on Wednesday will give us confidence going into Saturday's game vs. Kansas City. But our first priority is a good result against the Rapids. We know that we can win on the road.
What do you feel the Quakes need to do to win some of the close games that the team has lost early this season?
The team has to believe in itself and focus in the critical moments. We have to believe that we are a good team and be more aggressive right from the start of the game. We have to believe that we can win every game that we play. We always talk about what we have to do in the locker room, so now we have to go out and make those words a reality. We have demonstrated that we can play well, now we have to focus and play consistently and get wins and good results.